ONE of Tamworth’s best-loved parks is hoping to claim gold, in a Heart of England in Bloom category.
Wigginton Park is competing for the second year in the parks & open spaces category of the Heart of England in Bloom campaign, after receiving the silver gilt in last year’s competition.
The award is open to parks and open spaces of all kinds and it is judged on three aspects – community & engagement, maintenance & development and environment.
Wigginton Park entered the awards as a large park of more than 20 hectares. Its entry has been led by the Friends of Wigginton Park, with the support of Tamworth Borough Council.
It was a grey and rainy day as the judges, Emma Sibbing and David Tipping, arrived on Wednesday July 26 to take a tour of the park. But that didn’t spoil their enjoyment and appreciation of the Georgian parkland surrounded by Giant Redwood and other well-established specimen trees.
Chair of the Friends of Wigginton Park, Richard Kingstone, said: “It’s a great honour to be able to enter the Heart of England in Bloom parks category again. Anyone who has visited Wigginton Park will know just how amazing it is. The park is unique, not just in Tamworth, but in the country.
“Where else can you walk though well-maintained parkland; enjoy a healthy game of rugby and then visit a spectacular wildlife meadow? We really do have a special place right here in the heart of Tamworth.”
He added: “The Friends of Wigginton Park was formed by students from The Rawlett School along with local residents and members of Tamworth Rugby Club coming together to attempt to make our park even better.
“Over the years we have developed a management plan with the support of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Tamworth Borough Council. We meet on the second Sunday of every month and carry out a variety of activities, including maintenance of the wetlands area; the newly planted wild flowers and the community orchard.”
The assessment of Wigginton Park comes just a week after Heart of England in Bloom judges Nicola Clarke and Roger Tait visited Tamworth to cast their eyes over the borough’s entry for this year’s Small City category in the regional campaign.
Tamworth in Bloom Champion, Cllr Joy Goodall, said: “The huge amount of hard work and dedication from the volunteers who make up the Friends of Wigginton Park shows their commitment to high standards of environmental works and community involvement. The park is an amazing place for walkers and families. The addition of a well-equipped children’s play area has been a great success. I am very hopeful that the park will be acknowledged with gold this year when the results are announced in September.”